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Trend towards amicable divorce

Some professionals in the field of family law have reported a trend towards less acrimonious divorces. They state that there is a growing group of ex-spouses who remain friends and deeply involved in each others lives. Couples with children appear to be especially likely to have a more amicable divorce and a friendly relationship afterward.

This change in attitude means an emphasis on divorce mediation instead of rancorous court battles. One respected author and clinical psychiatrist has observed, "there is no model that exes can really be friends," but her experience indicates that America's long cultural history with divorce might have caused such a model to evolve.

The rates among American men who have divorced within the previous statistical year have remained steady at about 9.3 percent since 2008, when the U. S. Census first started keeping such records. The rate for women has varied slightly more, between 12.4 percent and 9.8 percent. High divorce rates have been a fact of American life for generations now, and many adults living today were themselves children of a divorced household. They know that children benefit from peaceful divorces with friendly ex-spouses that preserve the presence of both parents in their lives.

There are sometimes reasons why a close post-divorce friendship is not possible. If there are issues of abuse, criminality, violence or other risk factors, then it may not be prudent to remain close. Such situations can be exacerbated when there are children involved. It is also possible that the temperaments of the divorcees are no longer compatible or that strong emotions prevent friendship. However, there is broad consensus that amicable divorce and reasonable mediation are preferable to acrimony in the courtroom. A lawyer may help a divorcing couple to peacefully compromise on the division of assets and work out the legal terms of the separation.

Source: USA Today, "Ex-spouses can get along — and not just for the holidays", Sharon Jayson, December 23, 2013

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